5 Instagram Tips to Boost Awareness of Your E-commerce Shop
The online e-commerce space can feel crowded. Follow these Instagram tips to stand out from the crowd.
With the accessibility of Magento and WooCommerce, anyone can set up an e-commerce shop in minutes these days. These platforms have the power to shift the entire dynamic of the online shopping ecosystem by providing smaller merchants with the infrastructure to sell their wares online quickly and with ease. For those selling handmade goods, the competition has become fierce. It’s not surprising if you feel at times like you’re lost in a sea of e-commerce shops.
The good news is that there are ways to give your shop a boost and an edge that makes you stand apart from the competition. Instagram has proven effective at e-commerce marketing - and not just for mega brands. Smaller merchants can benefit from the platform’s 400 million daily active user base. We’ve outlined some of the best hacks for using Instagram to net more customers for your handmade e-commerce shop.
Tip #1 - Use Instagram to Sell
To be direct, use Instagram to sell your handmade products. While the site does not yet allow all merchants to sell through its platform, several apps have been developed to retrofit the site and transform it into a sales channel. Apps like Instaorders and Soldsie have both found ways to leverage the app to make sales. The latter enables your Instagram to make purchases via a word like “Sold” and by including details like color, size and other pertinent information to their order.
Tip #2 - Help Your Customers Shine
Everyone loves being loved on social channels. One of the most effective ways to garner extra attention for yourself is to give social props to your target audience. Some big brands have taken to this tactic by sharing and promoting photos taken by their customers that feature their products. Not only does it increase exposure of your product by showing it being used by real people, but it encourages those people to share even more. Warby Parker has mastered this technique and often shares customer photos that feature their glasses.
Tip #3 - Go Beyond Photos
Video is quickly gaining momentum as a preferred content method for consumption. Almost every social media channel now enables video marketing and users on those sites have been receptive. Facebook video views alone are surpassing 8 million per month. Instagram enables videos of 3 to 60 seconds, which gives e-commerce merchants some room to experiment. As a handmade seller, consider some of the following ideas:
Lifestyle videos of your product in use/being worn
Time lapse videos of the actual creation of your products
A walk-through of the materials you use to create your product
Tip #4 - Engage With Contests
People love contests because they have the opportunity to win something. Instagram users are eager to engage with brands in this way, so long as the “ask” is simple enough. Try holding an Instagram contest where users must follow your brand and tag 3 users in the comments section of your post. This drives engagement, increases followers and improves reach and awareness. It’s a great tool for handmade merchants who may start out with a smaller following on Instagram but can quickly grow by offering one of their products as a prize.
Tip #5 - Give a Sneak Peak
If you’re working on a brand new product or getting ready to release something you’ve never offered before, Instagram is a great platform on which to give people a sneak peak. People identify with visuals and feel special that they are privy to seemingly “private” or “confidential” information. Smaller handmade merchants often have a cult following of people who have great appreciation for their products as well as the actual process of making them, so featuring images that illustrate upcoming releases can be really exciting for your audience.
While handmade merchants may not have the massive following that many giant retail brands have, they can certainly take a page from their marketing book. Using Instagram to expand reach, gain fans and followers and to engage with your target audience is a top way to boost sales for your e-commerce site.